Chrysta Bell - This Train

A long-term protege of David Lynch, Chrysta Bell's debut album bears many of the hallmarks of the maverick movie director's fascination with sound, but she emerges as a singular talent in her own right. Lynch gets co-writing credits across all eleven tracks and, certainly, those who've been tickled by his Crazy Clown Time and The Big Dream albums (or indeed many of his film soundtracks) will find themselves in familiar territory: the ringing guitars, the sombre keyboard chords, the industrial rumbles and textures that can leave the listener unsettled and uncertain.

But compared to Julee Cruise say, Bell has more strings to her bow, able to deliver the breathy 'I Die' but then follow it with the more mannered 'Swing With Me' and 'Friday Night Fly', skirting a similar vibe to the sensual blues of PJ Harvey. She plays the standard Lynch femme fatale role perfectly, seductive yet vulnerable, although Bell is a more traditionally strong singer than seen in his previous works. The grungy blues of 'Real Love' is a particular treat; 'Polish Poem', a heartbreaker akin to 'Questions In A World Of Blue' from Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me. An unexpected delight, no-one is gonna be getting off This Train before journey's end.



out of 10

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